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Ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu was declared winner of Nigeria’s hotly-contested presidential election early Wednesday, against rivals who are already demanding a revote in Africa’s most populous nation, the Associated Press reported.

Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress party (APC) received about 37 percent of the vote, while Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party came second with 29 percent of the vote, followed by Peter Obi of the smaller Labour Party with 25 percent. Tinubu also received over 25 percent of the vote in over two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital, Abuja, thus meeting both requirements to win Nigeria’s presidency, according to the Washington Post.

The announcement by election officials overnight is likely to lead to a court challenge by Obi and Abubakar. The latter also finished second in the last vote in 2019, then appealed those results before his lawsuit ultimately was dismissed.

On Tuesday, they issued a statement saying that the results announced by Nigeria’s electoral body – the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) – are “heavily doctored and manipulated,” CNN noted.

The highly anticipated elections have been dogged by controversy and violence. International election observers, including those from the European Union, said the polls fell short of expectations and “lacked transparency.”

Analysts worry that the current disputes and frustrations over the electoral process could boil over into large-scale violence.

The parties now have three weeks to appeal results, but an election can be invalidated only if it’s proven the national electoral body largely didn’t follow the law and acted in ways that could have changed the result.

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